source: UNIFIL

The Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Salvatore Farina, accompanied by the Italian ambassador in Lebanon Massimo Marotti, visited the UNIFIL HQ and the Italian contingent deployed in the south of the Country.

To work all together "more together" for the future of the Lebanon

​On his first official visit to Lebanon, the Chief of General Staff met in Lebanon the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), General Joseph Aoun.

During the meeting, the two Senior Officials were also able to discuss together even on the issue concerning the bilateral cooperation between the Armed Forces of the two countries, recognizing the Army's commitment to maintaining a high level of collaboration.

General Farina continued his visit joining the UNIFIL HQ in Naqoura, where he was welcomed by the Division General Stefano Del Col, who has been Head of Mission and Force Commander since August the 7th.

General Del Col provided him a political update concerning the Mission and various operational and training activities that Italian blue helmets of UNIFIL carry out in coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces. All operations are carried out in full compliance with Resolution 1701 and associated with the United Nations Security Council. Resolution 2433 of 30 August which extends UNIFIL's mandate for a further year.

General Salvatore Farina expressed his closeness to the Italian military deployed in Lebanon, underlining the strategic importance of the mission which insists in one of the most important areas of the Middle East. He also congratulated General Del Col for the prestigious assignment given him by the United Nations.

The Chief of General Staff visited the UN position of Ras Al Naqoura, guarded by the Italian blue helmets of the 7th Alpine Regiment, where the tripartite meetings periodically have been taking place, since the end of the 2006 war in southern Lebanon. These meetings between the high representatives of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) under the authority of UNIFIL and with the mediation of the Head of Mission and Force Commander

General Farina concluded his visit meeting the Italian contingent military deployed in Shama's "Millevoi" base.

After the military honors provided by "Julia" Alpini Brigade, he received from the Commander of UNIFIL Sector West, Brigadier General Paolo Fabbri, an update on the current situation concerning West Sector and on the main operational activities conducted by Italian personnel in close cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). In addition, Colonel Stefano Giribono, Commander of the Italian Bilateral Mission in Lebanon updated him about the training activities conducted in favor of the LAF.

General Farina thanked the Italian soldiers for their professionalism and commitment and he shared the lunch with the blue helmets at the unified canteen of the base, wishing all the peacekeepers (both Italians and the fifteen nations of Sector west) of doing "more together" for the future of Lebanon.

Italy is present in Lebanon with about 1,100 men and women of the UNIFIL Mission in compliance with Resolution 1701, following the withdrawal of Israeli troops and the consequent deployment of the UN interposition force. The tasks of the blue helmets in the South of Lebanon included the monitoring and control of the cessation of hostilities, the support of the Lebanese Armed Forces in their operational activities, as well as assistance to the local population through the Civil and Military Cooperation projects.

The commitment of Italian soldiers in the Cedars’ land has deep roots: Italy participates in the UNIFIL mission since 1979.